With an aim of providing relief to heart patients, the government today said it will fix prices of stents in the next 10-15 days. Chemicals and Fertilzers Minister Ananth Kumar said that drug price regulator National Pharmaceuticals Pricing Authority (NPPA) has already been asked to take up the matter. “We have asked NPPA to fix prices of stents. This issue is pending for long. The price will be fixed in the next 10 to 15 days. This will give huge relief to patients,” Kumar said here.
He was speaking on the sidelines of signing of an MoU between Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India (BPPI) and National Yuva Co-operative Society for opening of 1,000 Jan Aushadhi drug stores across India.
The NPPA has already asked manufacturers and marketers of the medical device to disclose detailed pricing data and information by the end of this month.
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It has also called for a meeting with the stakeholders to discuss the issue on January 24.
Last year in July, the Ministry of Health had included stents in the National List of Essential Medicines, whereby the device came under purview of price control of the government.
The step was taken as it was felt that the margin for hospitals in terms of MRP of the stents was too high. The government based its decision on a sub-committee report that recommended putting all types of stents into the list.
Industry players had, however, criticised the move. Medical devices sector body AdvaMed and industry chamber CII said the step would not help improve access to medical devices for patients as it will not impact the overall procedure cost.
When asked if the role of NPPA would be changed as was speculated, Kumar replied in the negative and said its mandate is to regulate drug prices and would continue to do so.